Chapter 15The Boss snickered in a way that people do when they want people to be intimidated, but they are not actually laughing. “That’s what the boys said!” he smiled. “But, they were more confident, more assertive, and hopefully more wrong.”
Wrong, wrong, wrong. They got it wrong. Tria thought. Wrong. They got it wrong. Hey! They got it wrong! Tria gave Chloe a quick look that meant: We still have a chance!
Chloe looked too concerned to smile, but a little nod would do. Tria was happy, almost. She could not possibly feel good in this situation. There was a long pause.
“But, I won’t get my hopes up,” The Boss said, sighing with what seemed like joy. Evil joy. He rounded his desk with two gleaming sets of handcuffs. Tria stumbled backward, but she was not quick enough. Clip! That little flame of joy was immediately snuffed out.
“Wait, what?” Tria asked, confused and afraid. “But, we… you don’t know if… but, you can’t….” Chloe yelled out, “NO!” She opened her mouth to say something else other that a one syllable word, but she couldn’t. Tria shook her hands hard, but it hurt, the handcuffs were too tight to get out of. Her lips were shaking, words were popping onto her brain, but she could not manage anything out of her mouth. She was terrified. How does this… but how? ARGH! Tria thought. Her brain couldn’t even find the words to describe her thoughts.
“Now, don’t try to get out! You’re going to jail. And you’re going to stay there for a long, long time!” The Boss was slowly approaching Tria. “Don’t think you should be doing this now, right?”
“I-I-I well-” Tria mumbled.
“You wish you never started now don’t ya?” The Boss said, his horrible smile still drawn on his face.
“Um…” Tria stumbled.
“Yeah, Yeah?” Sniffed The Boss, towering over Tria. Tria was crumpling up, curling lower and lower. She was so afraid she could not dare move her head to look a Chloe. Oh, gosh! What will mom think? What will dad think? And Ellie with a big sister that went to jail?
Suddenly, a very tall woman burst in the door. Her expression became very cross. “GERALD! Are you tormenting some poor kids again? You haven’t even let them explain their case yet have you? Well, those boys were an exception, but no matter. Oh, and stop pretending that you’re the boss!”
Gerald crumpled down to Tria’s level. Maybe he was not the boss. Maybe she was. “Come now!” The lady said gesturing towards Chloe and Tria. They were happy to oblige-any way to get away from Gerald. Gerald whimpered as they left.
The lady led them to a room that was much better organized, it was as amazing as the rest of the building. “I’m sorry children,” the lady said sympathetically.
“Oh, well,” Tria said sadly. “We probably won’t do any better than he thought.” Chloe gave Tria a bad glance, and Tria immediately felt bad for saying that. Augh! Why did I say that? Tria thought. Just stay positive.
“I hope not, but the only way to know if your theory is correct is if you tell me, and we test it!” The lady said. “We’ll take the offer, Ms…” Chloe trialed off. “Oh,” said the lady. “Zebra. It’s Ms.Zebra.”
“Okay, Ms.Zebra,” Chloe said quickly, and then she explained everything to Ms.Zebra. “So…” Ms.Zebra repeated. “We just have to wait until his store closes, then he will change into his black outfit, and then we can catch him on his way out.”
“Perfect!” Chloe said to her. “Okay, I’ll get an officer to come with us,” Ms.Zebra said. “Wait, we get to go?” Tria asked. “Of course!” Ms.Zebra said on her way out. “Now, stay here you two. I’ll be back in a bit.”
“Fwoo! She’s only got 17 minutes…” Chloe said nervously. Stay positive! “Oh, don’t worry Chloe. This will work out, and if it doesn’t, we can be jail buddies!” Tria said, comfortingly.
About 8 minutes later (they still had time), Ms.Zebra’s head emerged in the doorway. “Come, come, dears!” Ms.Zebra said, rushing. Outside of the door was a young officer with some gleaming handcuffs. The same shimmer that was on Chloe and Tria’s handcuffs. Ms.Zebra took them off as soon as Tria looked down at them.
It was night time outside. The sky was navy blue, and the moon was shining the slightest light on the little group, making their skin look very pale. “There it is!” Chloe whisper-yelled. She pointed at a small building with a sign on it that read: BILL’S BAKERY! GET FRESH BUNS AND PIES EVERY DAY!
They hid behind a bush. Two minutes ‘till closing time: 9:00 p.m. They waited, and waited, but no one came. Well, a man and a woman came out at 9:01, but they were just late customers. They were not Bill. By 9:05, Ms.Zebra and the officer were getting impatient. “No, don’t leave!” Chloe had whispered to them when they had proposed to leave. “Bill might still be getting ready!”
9:06…9:07…9:08… No one had come out of the door yet. “I’m sorry kids,” Ms.Zebra said slowly, getting up. “It’s real hard to ever get something like this right.”
As they turned around to leave, to go to jail, something flashed in the corner of Tria’s eye. The other must have seen it too by the look on their faces. The dark, sneaky figure. The figure that they did not notice until now, and does not notice them yet.